Absent Friends is the eighth studio album by The Divine Comedy. It was released by Parlophone in the UK on 29 March 2004 and by Nettwerk in the US on 4 May 2004. Two singles were released from the album in the UK: "Come Home Billy Bird", which features former Kenickie vocalist Lauren Laverne (now a BBC 6 Music DJ) on vocals, and the album's title track.
Neil Hannon was the only member of The Divine Comedy by this point, as the band had split up shortly after the release of 2001's Regeneration. Hannon had decided to continue using the Divine Comedy name for this album. He was aided by long-time collaborator Joby Talbot, who arranged and conducted the orchestra.
The album was recorded at RAK Studios and Konk Studios in London by Guy Massey, with help from Raj Das and Chris Bolster. It was mixed at Mayfair Studios by Nigel Godrich, who was assisted by Dan Grech-Marguerat.